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Connecting through Houston?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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3,242 posts
207 reviews
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Connecting through Houston?

I was very apprehensive about my connection through Houston to Merida last month because I had read a couple of reviews saying the Houston airport was chaotic and took hours to navigate. So I was positively pleased when we had no problems at all coming and going through Houston. We had a two-hour layover going to Merida, which gave us time to have dinner and change dollars for pesos, and a couple of hours coming back. We managed to get through customs, find our way to the next gate, and pick up breakfast at Starbuck's to take on the plane.

I can't imagine flying to Cancun, which was suggested, and then having a 4-hour drive or bus trip to Merida. We had a 15 minute taxi ride from the airport to our hotel in Centro. It was one of the easiest travel experiences I've had going to Mexico.

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Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Edmonton, Alta.
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1. Re: Connecting through Houston?

Thanks for the info. I am going to Merida in March and through Houston as well. We only have about 70 min. between flights. It is too late to get Nexus (Canadian)so we are hoping that the airline(United) will help us get to the next flight. No time for a bite of food at the airport for us.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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2. Re: Connecting through Houston?

From my airline days, I know we offered no assistance at Houston if it was only because you booked a short connection. Of course, if handicapped and needing assitance, it was offered. The reason most use Cancun when coming to Merida is because more competition and lower fares to Cancun. But recently I have heard of some getting better fares to Merida.

I would pay extra just to avoid Cancun!

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Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Edmonton, Alta.
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19 reviews
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3. Re: Connecting through Houston?

I got a fare that was comprable in price to flying to Cancun. We had done the Cancun flight many times, stayed overnight in Cancun as we don't like driving the toll at night and then drive the next day. 2 days to get to Merida is too much.

My original booking with United had a 2.5 hour layover in Houston. Then I got an e-mail last month, from United, to say that they had changed the flight times. We do get into Merida earlier now.

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Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
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4. Re: Connecting through Houston?

I don't know if the airline can help you get through more quickly, even if they wanted to. Immigration and customs are run by the Feds, as is security. The airlines will put you on the next flight if you miss your connection though and occasionally I have seen them hold planes for people.

5. Re: Connecting through Houston?

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Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Connecting through Houston?

Sun2994, you're in luck. Unless you're on the midnight red-eye out of Edmonton, you'll be clearing US immigration & customs in Edmonton before getting on the plane. This saves you time in Houston - you simply get dropped off in one of the domestic departure halls. So it's a simple matter of finding your terminal and gate, and I think 70 minutes should be plenty.

Going home, Houston is excellent for people like us who are transiting to a third country (Canada). We get directed into the short line with the flight crews. Same story if you have carry-on only. Houston got it right, in much the same way that Atlanta badly needs to.

http://www.fly2houston.com/OneStop

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Atlanta
Atlanta
Georgia
Edmonton, Alta.
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2,094 posts
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7. Re: Connecting through Houston?

Thanks - we have 3 flights to get there. Edmonton to Calgary. Change planes in Calgary and go through customs there. Then the stop in Houston to change flights and then finally on to Merida. We have flown direct from Edmonton to Houston and then to Merida (7 hour layover then) however those flights were twice the price of the one gong through Calgary. Thanks for the link.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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8. Re: Connecting through Houston?

We flew United also. The airport has an inter-terminal train that is quick and efficient and trams that you can hop on to get to the various gates if you don't want to walk or don't have the time. No cost for either, but we tipped the tram driver. Boarding takes so much time that once at the gate you can pick up food quickly to take with you.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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3,242 posts
207 reviews
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9. Re: Connecting through Houston?

Customs now has the passport scan machines you do yourself that makes things quicker. We were no more than 15-20 minutes getting through customs start to finish. Going to Merida we got into Houston at 5:30 pm, returning was the early flight from Merida arriving in Houston at 9:30 a.m. Don't know if this timing makes a difference but it was very simple and fast for us. Hope you have a similar experience. Enjoy Yucatan...wish I was headed back!

Edmonton, Alta.
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2,094 posts
19 reviews
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10. Re: Connecting through Houston?

Our flight arrives in at 4:48 p.m. I just checked my e-ticket and I see we depart Houston at 5:57 p.m. (originally it was leaving at 7 p.m.)That's 49 min. to catch the next flight. Even less than I thought. I wonder if our luggage will make it? They changed the flight times to Merida recently and that is what happened-less time. Flight return home from Merida leaves at 8:10 a.m. and arrives in at 10:16 a.m. to Houston. I am hoping that the day before we leave, we will find out what terminals we are in and then I will make a map of our quick jaunt. Plus we are bringing our chihuahua with us -at least he is carry on. He has been to Mexico 5 times now -he doesn't mind the flight at all.

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